Create a transparent version of a drawing in Photoshop

Create a transparent version of a drawing in Photoshop

With the scanned image imported in Photoshop (File>Import>Your Device), adjust the level sliders until only the lines you want are left

I find my line work is a lot cleaner when I'm using a pencil and paper, so I work this way quite often. Place a loose piece of paper under your drawing hand to prevent smudging the page.

Once the drawing is finished, you can either import it with a scanner or take a photograph. The latter option generally produces less-satisfactory results, although I'm aware that not everyone has access to a scanner.

Open the Channels window, hold Ctrl and click the RGB layer. This will highlight all of the white space. Inverting the selection will highlight the drawing.

Create a new layer above and fill the highlighted area (Shift+Backspace). You now have a transparent version of drawing, with all of the white space removed

Create a transparent version of a drawing in Photoshop

Adjust the opacity of the sketch as you go, to accommodate the area that you’re working on

Words: Tony Foti

Tony Foti is a US freelance illustrator who contributes to D&D and Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings lines. This article originally appeared in ImagineFX magazine issue 103.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of seven full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Abi Le Guilcher, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.